Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/19/14
Football is back! With barely over a week until opening day for the Seattle Seahawks, there are looming questions surround the team and its players. The expectations are high this year and the players will need to answer those questions and meet those expectations to get where they want to go. If another playoff trip is in the future, a few of the players need to prove some things this season. Let’s take a look at those needing to step up this season. Sidney Rice Sidney Rice is making quite a bit of money. His offensive numbers aren’t conducive to the amount he is being paid. If he does not step up and earn this year’s salary with career numbers, his future in Seattle could be over sooner rather than later. Sidney Rice is a great receiver, but really IS being paid too much money for the stats he has put up in Seattle so far. Seattle could waive him, not have to pay him anymore, save money and then spend money on a younger, healthier option. Golden Tate Golden Tate has finally bloomed over the last 2 seasons and has become the football player we all hoped he would become. With this being a contract year for him, a lot of things could affect his chances of leaving or staying. He’s going to want a new contract, but that will be up the this year’s play as well as his behavior. He needs to play well in order to score the contract…otherwise, Seattle will let him leave via free agency and replace him quickly. Doug Baldwin Sidney Rice has a lot to prove this season. I am tired of putting receivers on this list, but they are the most volatile group and the easiest to replace. Doug Baldwin is also on this list. After leading the team in receptions and yards a couple seasons ago, Baldwin ended up injured and mostly unproductive. The way I see it, Baldwin and Tate are the same kind of receiver, and if the Seahawks are looking for size, I’m not sure they are both going to last. Baldwin needs to step up and look like he did when he surprised us all as the team leading receiver. Robert Turbin Yes, he’s young, but Robert Turbin is already possibly in danger of losing his job. During the preseason, he was oft injured and couldn’t play. When he did play, he ended up injuring himself. Turbin could be the victim of depth chart crowding if he doesn’t give himself an edge over Christine Michael or even Spencer Ware. Brandon Browner Please don’t think I’m crazy. Just listen. Browner got a big raise for this season, we all know that. And yes it was because of what he has done for this team. But is there a secret meaning in all of it? Could that be a “this is your lat year with us, here’s a bonus for helping us get off the ground’? With younger guys like Jeremy Lane and Walter Thurmond fighting for his job, Browner could wind up being a casualty. If there is any chance this could actually happen, Browner needs to have a career year. And I think he will. Honorable Mention Bruce Irvin Last but not least is Bruce Irvin. He really isn’t in any real danger right now, but he has quite a lot on his plate right now. Trying to follow up a rookie campaign with double digit sacks is hard when you are suspended the first 4 games of the season AND you might have to change things up and rush the passer from the linebacker position. Either way, Irvin is still young and mold-able. He is safe for a while, but might want to do everything he can to get to those numbers just in case. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS BLOG PAGE IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
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